Hey PFT Family! I'm sitting in Starbucks (as I write this) sipping on my small (tall if you're being picky about it) black coffee. I've also been up since 3:30 a.m. Since that time, I've taught three PFT classes, answered emails, responded to numerous Facebook messages and submitted PFT's weekly meal orders. I have yet to eat a meal or consume a single calorie. However, my mind is crystal clear and my focus is razor (straight edge) sharp.
You may be asking yourself:
"But wait, isn't breakfast the most important meal of the day?"
"Aren't you starving?"
"Why...just why, would you do this?"
These are all good questions.
So...why am I waiting to eat my first meal? I'm practicing an eating pattern/strategy know as Intermittent Fasting (IF). Perhaps you are wondering, "What is Intermittent Fasting and why would you ever do it?"
Well...there are a multitude of reasons. Let me explain.
Simply put, Intermittent Fasting (IF) is a term used to describe fasting for a prescribed amount of time; followed by a window of time in which you will consume ALL your calories for the day. Therefore, IF is not a diet, but instead an eating strategy/pattern.
Intermittent Fasting may reduce stress, sharpen focus, increase productivity, improve hunger tolerance and allow for more freedom and flexibility during social situations (YAY!!!!)
OK...OK...Now that we have the science and life stuff out of the way, let's get down to business!
16:8 Protocol: At PFT, we use the 16:8 Intermittent Fasting Protocol. This means you'll fast for 16 hours and eat all your calories in an 8-hour window (best to use the time spent sleeping as a big portion of your fast).
Example: Final meal at 8 p.m. = First meal at 12:00 p.m. (This fasting period can be between any times of your choosing, depending on what best fits your personal schedule.)
At PFT (based on optimizing our training schedule) we will fast on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. These are our cardio/core days and we want to maximize the fat burning possibilities of both the training and nutrition protocols.
On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday you will eat your first meal within an hour of your training session. Since these are our strength training days, we will be breaking down the muscle fibers and depleting muscle glycogen stores. This fact, combined with coming off a fasting period, makes swift nutrition vastly more important to kickstart muscle repair and recovery.
Finally, Sunday will be a FREE day (you can choose to fast or eat in a more regular pattern).
Everything boils down to eating in accordance to your goals and in a way that improves your overall life enjoyment.
If your goal is to lose weight and body fat, then we have you covered with Phase 1: LOSE and Phase 3: LEAN of our PFT 2.0 Nutritional Strategy. If your goal is to build muscle (or maintain your current physique), then you'll follow Phase 2: TONE. If you just want to eat intuitively, then follow your normal eating strategy and adjust (calories) slightly up or down by how your body is responding, how hard you can train and your overall feeling of AWESOMENESS!!
Intermittent fasting isn't magic...it's just another tool for your toolbox that you can use to build the body of your wildest dreams. No more...No less.
Although there is nothing inherently unhealthy about fasting, here are some possible reasons where it may be best to avoid it.